Like many current Caltex Socceroos, Jamie Maclaren and Mat Ryan were football-mad juniors who got up in the middle of the night with their parents to watch the Aussie national team on TV.
As both prepare to face England on Friday night (Saturday morning Australian time) in a friendly at Sunderland's Stadium of Light, both remember the night Australia humbled the Three Lions 3-1 in a friendly at Upton Park in 2003.
Goals to Harry Kewell, Tony Popovic and Brett Emerton confirmed a famous win for the Green and Gold.
A young Francis Jeffers with England's sole reply.
Ironically for Maclaren, his current club coach at Brisbane Roar also played that famous night 13 years ago against Beckham’s England.
“I was eight years of age,” Maclaren told reporters on Monday in Newcastle.
“Me, my Dad and brother we got up and it is funny that my boss now is John Aloisi who played that night.
“And he told me the other day he meant to set up Brett Emerton for that goal. But I’m not quite sure of that!
“But it’s just great to see Tony Popovic who also scored that night now coaching in the A-League.
“But we’ll relish the opportunity [on Friday night] and England will want to get us one back.”
Similarly, Socceroo keeper Mat Ryan was a sports-mad nipper running around the western suburbs of Sydney when the game was played in 2003.
“I definitely remember. I was still in Primary School at that stage in year five or six, waking up early in the morning.
“I fondly remember Harry [Kewell] rounding the keeper, and I think ‘Popa’ got a goal and ‘Emmo’ too.
“It was 3-1 and I remember going to school that day and was obviously buzzing," the La Liga-based shot-stopper said on Monday.
Ryan now has a chance to inspire children back home in Australia with the Valencia keeper set to start against England.
“It’s funny to think kids will look at me in the same sort of way. But I’m excited for the occasion and game and hopefully we continue the progress of what we’re doing," he said.
In team news, all 23 Socceroos were in camp by Monday night in Newcastle, with the final three of Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Jackson Irvine arriving around 8pm.
The squad is set to train at Sunderland’s Academy of Light on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Ange Postecoglou and his coaching team were in Manchester to watch England’s 2-1 win over Turkey last Sunday, ensuring they'll be well prepared for the English in Sunderland.
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